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Questions tagged [halacha]

NOTE: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. // Jewish law. Specifically, the legal process beginning with the written Torah and continuing through the Mishna, Talmud, and the legal codes (e.g., Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch).

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93 views

Is one allowed to short sell stock?

Short selling stock involves borrowing the shares for a fee. Would doing so contravene Devarim 23:20 which prohibits borrowing with interest (assume the Jewishness of all parties involved is such to ...
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Do we apply עושה מעשה עמך consistently anywhere it says עמך?

The Gemara in several places (BM 48b and 62a, Yevamos 22b, Sanhedrin 85a, BB 4a, BK 94b, Makkos 8b) quotes the exposition ונשיא בעמך לא תאור - בעושה מעשה עמך “A prince in your people you shall ...
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Blessing on orange juice after eating an orange

Say someone ate an orange and now wants to drink orange juice. The regular blessing on orange juice is sheakol (see e.g., here) although there is some opinion it might be haeitz if the oranges were ...
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What is the Halacha on collateral damage in a time of war?

Hypothetically, if the IDF was a “halachically run” military force; what would be the Halacha against killing innocents? For example, there is a famous case of the ל"ה troops during the Israeli war ...
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Can a King execute Kohen Gadol that he thinks is מורד במלכות?

While Kohen Gadol is a citizen, he belongs to a different "authority" that a King is obligated to respect (see Rambam Melachim 2, 5): "אבל כהן גדול אינו בא לפני המלך אלא אם רצה ואינו עומד לפניו ...
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125 views

Can an electric steamer with a timer be used to cook raw food on Shabbat?

Can one use an electric steamer with a timer to cook a meal for Shabbat lunch? If one puts raw food on the device and sets a timer before Shabbat for it to be activated on Saturday and start the ...
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56 views

Is a non-Jew forbidden to his father's ex-wife?

A Jewish man and his father's wife are forbidden to each other forever, even after his father dies or divorces her. (Issurei Biah 2:1) A non-Jewish man and his father's wife are forbidden to each ...
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106 views

Halachic restrictions on Sefarim shelves

If memory serves me correctly, I believe Jonathan Rosenblum cites in his biography of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky a story where Rav Yaakov complained that someone had placed a sefer on an arm of a bench ...
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Hypothetical Halacha — Is “Leishayv Basukkah” an interruption of a brocha on Shmini Ateres (if said by mistake)?

This case happened to me over the past Shemini Atzeres, and even though it's over now, I was still curious about the halacha. I was so used to saying Laysheiv Basukkah the entire Sukkos, so on the ...
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A man tells us he raped a woman

The Torah says the following about a man who rapes a woman (Deuteronomy 22:29). וְ֠נָתַן הָאִ֨ישׁ הַשֹּׁכֵ֥ב עִמָּ֛הּ לַאֲבִ֥י הנער [הַֽנַּעֲרָ֖ה] חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים כָּ֑סֶף וְלֽוֹ־תִהְיֶ֣ה לְאִשָּׁ֗ה ...
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82 views

May I tell someone that I've figured out his online screen name?

Without publicly revealing his identity, would merely telling someone that he "outed himself" constitute אונאת דברים?
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86 views

Are there any applications of dofen akumah outside of sukkah?

The Gemara (in several places, here's one) lists a group of three halachos related to walls that were taught to Moshe at Sinai: gud [asik/achis] - extending a partial wall up or down under certain ...
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114 views

Lo yilbash for gentiles/Noahides?

I would like to know if the prohibitions on opposite-gender clothing apply to gentiles under the Noahide laws.
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34 views

Source for preferring doing melacha which benefits sick person exclusively

I recently heard the following halacha from a talmid Chacham. He said "I remember that this is the halacha, but I do not remember the source". If one has to do a melacha on shabbos for a choleh ...
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If one is noder hana'ah from something which sometimes is obligatory and sometimes is not, is the neder binding?

Let's say I make a neder not to benefit from the five grains - wheat, barley, rye, oat(?), and spelt. These are the only grains which can be used for Matzah on Pesach (Pesachim 35b). Assuming that a ...
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Someone losing their dominant arm

There are some practical differences between righties and lefties in halacha. What happens if someone loses their dominant arm? Do they gain the halachic status of being dominant with their other arm ...
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Did R. Moshe Feinstein misquote the Mishna Berura?

The Mishna Berura (299:1) rules that one may begin eating until one half hour before tzeis hakochavim on Shabbos afternoon/evening. R. Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe O.C. 4:69:6) writes that the Mishna ...
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125 views

Chemistry Experiment with Chametz on Pesach

If one is in a school environment where he/she has a chemistry lab/lab exam on Chol Hamoed Pesach that they must attend (putting the question of doing this on Chol Hamoed aside), and the lab exercise ...
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135 views

Can you get an animal high?

The gemarah (Bava Metziah 32b, based on Shemot 32:5) explains that a person is not allowed to give an animal undo pain, this is know as צער בעל חי. I would like to know if a person is allowed to give ...
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Smelling Besamim before Havdallah

According to our minhag that we smell Besamim during Havdallah as part of Havdallah, if one smelled Besamim after Shabbos before Havdallah (for whatever reason), should or can that person omit the ...
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123 views

frozen food delivered on shabbat

If one ordered frozen food from an online store and it happened to be delivered at the person's front door on shabbat (unintended) would it be permissible to place the food in a freezer (with no light ...
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Questioner's liability for receiving a wrong psak

If someone asked a competent Rav a shaila, and the Rav was wrong, is the "questioner" liable? For example, if someone asked a Rav if one is permitted to water his plants on Shabbat and the Rav ...
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Is there such a thing as losing your Chazaka on contracts?

Let's say I come to court, claiming that I bought field A with a contract. That contract was found to be a forgery. I lose. I come back the next day, saying that within the past day I bought the ...
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185 views

Can salami mold make dry-aged salami un-kosher?

I am making beef salami, using kosher meat, and I would like to know if the mold that is introduced to form on the outside can make it non-kosher. Background info Dry aged meats take advantage of a '...
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184 views

The Monsey Karfif

The Monsey/Rockland Eruv map indicates one large karfif (in red). A karpef/karfif is as an area not designated for residency which invalidates an encompassing eruv if it is not itself separated by a ...
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Explanation of מיגו דהאי לאו דאיסורא הוא דהאי נמי לאו איסורא הוא

The Shulchan Aruch in Y.D. 110:7 writes (based on Zevachim 74a and 77b, as explained by Rashi): דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּטֵל מֵחֲמַת חֲשִׁיבוּתוֹ, כְּגוֹן בַּעֲלֵי חַיִּים וּבְרִיָּה, וַחֲתִיכָה ...
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Investing in cryptocurrency. Is there an issue?

Is there a problem with investing in a digital currency and letting it sit on Shabbat and holidays? It's fairly volatile and can increase or decrease greatly in value. So I'm wondering if these ...
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How far from the correct pronunciations and spellings must one differ to avoid saying God's names?

It's my understanding that there are halachic reasons to avoid saying or writing some of God's Names for no reason. How far from the correct spelling or pronunciations must one deviate to avoid these ...
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162 views

Parent/child relationship : how does adoption compare to geirus?

Take a father and daughter who both underwent geirus. Now take a Jewish man who adopted a baby girl of unknown (Jewish) parents. In both situations, the father raises the child since birth. Are the ...
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113 views

Blowing Bubbles on Yom Tov

Is anything wrong with blowing bubbles on Yom Tov? Would it be different than blowing bubbles on Shabbos?
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101 views

Is The Biggest Loser considered gambling?

A friend of mine recently attempted to create a The Biggest Loser knockoff in his school. The basic premise was that each "contestant" would contribute $10 to compete, and the winner(s) would take ...
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283 views

Can Jews listen to and perform J.S. Bach's music, since most of his compositions derive from Christian sources?

"Almost All" (90 - 95%) of J. S. Bach's compositions are, musically, based on various "Protestant Hymns". This is a musical and compositional fact, when one understands how to analyse his compositions ...
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70 views

Breaking a journey after visiting a cemetery?

If one goes to a funeral and he wants to go home after, he needs to break his journey so as not to connect death and life or something along those lines, don't really understand it myself. (I've ...
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55 views

When can I turn pages for my neighbor

If I am praying next to an elderly person who I know is somewhat dependant on my help to find the place in the prayer book, at what points in davening may I silently direct him to the correct page/...
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Leyning on Chol Ha-moed Sukkot

Can anyone explain the rationale for the Ashkenazi leyning in chutz la-aretz on Chol Ha-Moed? For example, on the first day of chol ha-moed, we leyn as follows: first aliya - uvayom ha sheni; second ...
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80 views

Forbidden business practices in games

Charging interest or surplussage on real loans to a fellow Jew is forbidden but may one do so with in-game play money or with in-game commodities?
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184 views

Holding the bride's hand when giving her the ring

In art I see that it was done example From hukai noshim CH 45 I see that it is required (at least lehat'hila) My summery of this subject in that chapter He brings it twice once regarding when ...
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Tachanun - is raising the arm to the head a valid way to perform it?

הרב אליעזר מלמד explains that the way to say tachanun is על ידי הרכנת הראש והשענתו על זרוע היד by bowing the head and leaning on the arm. I understand this to mean that the head is lowered ...
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Can one ask a trained animal to do Sabbath work

Is there a prohibition to use a trained animal to do Sabbath work such as turning on a light. (assuming the animal belongs to one's non-Jewish neighbor).
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Is watching videos online that were uploaded illegally counted as causing others to sin?

Some poskim hold that watching videos online that were uploaded illegally is not considered gezel, only if one himself uploaded the video it would be gezel. However, if someone watched the videos ...
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Is there a bias against marijuana in the orthodox community?

Note: I'm not trying to promote marijuana. I strongly dislike marijuana and cigarettes and I would never use nor recommend either. I'm concerned about health and the awareness of the dangers of drugs. ...
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What recourse is available for someone whose property was seized by a creditor of the seller?

Let's say Reuven owes Shimon $1000 (because of a loan). Reuven then sells his only piece of land (that happens to be worth $1000) to Levi. This land in Levi's possession is now considered a נכס משעובד ...
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Assimilated Bucharian Jews

I was told that there is a discussion regarding the Jewishness of Bucharian Jews, because they were forced into being assimilated into the surrounding gentile culture, (perhaps the discussion was by ...
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Does food need to be double-wrapped for the fridge?

I am familiar with the idea ( What's the halachic advantage of double (or triple) wrapping food? ) that double-wrapping is necessary for a halachic separation in certain kashrus contexts. However, ...
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Is a prophylactic procedure sufficient cause to necessitate “bensching gomel”

The Gem Brochos 54b says ארבעה צריכין להודות:יורדי הים, הולכי מדברות ומי שהיה חולה ונתרפא ומי שהיה חבוש בבית האסורים Four types of people have to give thanks … sick people who were healed Medical ...
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Can and should I report cheaters?

Sometimes during an exam, the Rabbi or professor leaves the room. This provides an opportunity (which some students take) to openly and publicly cheat. (These students are not wearing kipot nor are ...
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What do/can/should you do if you daven Succos Hallel slower than the tzibur, and why?

If you daven Hallel on Succos slower than the shaliach tzibur, what do you do when everyone else gets to the parts that involve oral responses and/or shaking the lulav? Is it better to join in with ...
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283 views

Must all parts of Hatarat Nedarim be said in a language which we understand, or only some parts?

Introduction Before Rosh Hashanah, it's customary to do the "annulment of vows" ceremony. There are good reasons for this ceremony. Though the ArtScroll Siddur commentary warns: Annulment is ...
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80 views

Mistakes in Shnayim Mikrah V'Echad Targum

A question that's always bothered me: when doing the mitzvah of Shnayim Mikrah V'Echad Targum, how accurate must one be in order to fulfill the mitzvah? In other words, let's say one mispronounces a ...
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52 views

Dedications and Their Expected Life-Span

Several years ago I was doing an observation in a private secular pre-school. The school is housed in the former Talmud Torah building still owned by the synagogue immediately next door. (The student ...